Tag Archive: career success


It’s no secret that jobs are scarce. Don’t be misled by encouraging downward trends in unemployment – a lot of the new jobs being created are of the low-level service variety. Quality, career-type positions are few in number and applicants are many. Add in the fact that today’s companies are terrified of making a bad hire, due to the intense dedication of money and resources involved in bringing on a new staff member plus legal ramifications of firing someone, and finding a job that will let you achieve your professional and personal aspirations is tougher than ever.

But it can be done. However, the key to obtaining the kind of job that will advance your career is acing your job interview. The interview is absolutely crucial to getting hired, and demonstrating you have the necessary skills and background is only a small portion of what you must accomplish. Here are 6.5 fresh steps to acing your next job interview.


  1. Do Your Homework. You need to do a lot of research before the interview takes place. The Internet makes this task easier than in the past, but you still need to check out the company’s website, as well as websites of its major competitors. Do a Google search of the company, its executives and its industry to find out what challenges it is facing. Also it may reveal important details about executives you will speak with, such as their alma maters, social activities, etc. you can use to personalize your conversation. If possible, discreetly visit the company’s lobby to get a sense of what people are wearing and how they act.
  2. Appearance counts. You are essentially hired (or not hired) in the first 30 seconds of the interview. Your potential employer decides very quickly if you are right for the job or not, and the rest of the conversation serves to prove or disprove this first impression. The very first thing your interviewer(s) will see is your personal appearance. Are your hair and nails freshly groomed? Are you wearing tailored business attire that is in line with current fashion but not too “trendy”? Is your breath fresh and are you well-rested but alert? Do you carry a quality leather attache case and have professionally printed business cards and resumes to distribute? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” make sure it becomes “yes” before your interview occurs!
  3. Talk to everyone. Even if you arrive on time (I’m assuming you know enough to never be late, and ideally should be 10-15 minutes early), you will likely be asked to wait for at least a few minutes before the interview starts. If there is a receptionist in the waiting area, engage them in pleasant conversation. Also smile and say hello to anyone who passes by. Do not ask any questions or initiate in-depth conversations (remember everyone will report what you say and do), but if you are lucky someone in the company might reveal a valuable piece of information, such as what type of mood your interviewer is in or how many other people have been interviewed. Plus you immediately establish yourself as a social, professional individual who makes a good impression.


Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.


Despite all the recent news about the great economic “recovery” the U.S. is experiencing, the fact remains that for most people and companies, times are still tough. Most of the profits that have been recovered since the economic meltdown of 2008-09 have gone to a select group of individuals and corporations who are reluctant to part with any of it.

For the most part, the people and companies who will potentially purchase your services or products, or give you a “high” paying job offer, are operating on a recession mentality where they only spend money when absolutely necessary. This means landing “high” paying job offers require a well-thought and executed strategy. Here are 6.5 fresh steps to making sure you attract these highly sought after and competitive high paying job offers – no matter how challenging the economic environment becomes.

  1. Become a personal brand. It is not enough to enter today’s marketplace with a certain degree, or set of skills, or list of achievements. All that is simply the required background you need to even try to compete. Winning the competition for high paying job offers means becoming a personal brand, so that as soon as people hear your name they instantly associate it with outstanding excellence in a particular area. Therefore, you must do a truly exemplary job every single time, no matter how trivial or menial the task may be, and also constantly educate yourself, sharpen your existing skills and make sure you present yourself in a completely positive and professional manner. Only then will all your skills and experience actually do anything to help you compete.
  2. Develop a particular area of expertise. While being a “jack of all trades” may seem on the surface like the best recipe to guaranteeing yourself a steady stream of high paying job offers, all it really does is ensure your name will always float around when someone wants something done fast and cheap. You don’t want to be one of those names! By all means it is worthwhile to possess an extended range of skills, but to truly stand out in a tight market, being known as a true expert in a particular area is what draws the high-value, high-paying job offers in the long run. For example, it’s OK to be a gifted salesperson who can “sell anything,” but better to be a gifted salesperson who is renowned for selling business software (or cars, or whatever other product category attracts your interest and abilities).
  3. Network, network, network. Most people award jobs, accounts, projects, etc. to someone they either know personally or are vouched for by a personal acquaintance. The fear of the unknown is a strong primal urge in humans, and it extends to the business world. Especially these days, the odds of winning employment or professional engagement through an ad listing are virtually nil. You need to get out there and meet as many people as possible, and develop personal relationships with the most valuable sources. Online social networks are a valuable new way to extend the reach of your network nationally or even globally.


Tuesday Thought

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.

Tuesday Thought

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.

healthEven as the job market has slowly been recovering, many highly intelligent, experienced and qualified people still find themselves unemployed. The job market is historically tight, companies are loathe to hire any employee they do not absolutely have to, and in many cases having skills and experience can leave a candidate out of consideration due to being “overqualified.”

However, even in this difficult environment, if you find yourself unemployed, you don’t have to stay that way. By taking a fresh approach to how you present and prepare yourself for your job search, you can find quality employment that will put you back on the path to exponential personal and professional success. Take the following 6.5 steps, with the .5 as an extra “half-step” to ensure maximum freshness.

  1. Freshen Your Skills. As mentioned above, companies that are skittish about a highly qualified candidate who will require too much money or leave as soon as something better comes along will sometimes reject them on the grounds of being “overqualified.” However, by focusing on developing a “fresh” set of skills that employers desperately need, rather than acquiring flashy or “impressive” skills that demand a high salary in theory but have few practical applications in reality, you can make yourself irresistible to a prospective employer. In today’s market, think about skills like programming, data analysis, and social media marketing.
  2. Freshen Your Network. The phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is overstated, but contains more than a kernel of truth. While you generally need to be qualified to get a job, there also are generally more qualified people than there are job openings. Thus employers usually prefer to narrow the field of candidates by selecting people that they know, or can be vouched for by someone they know. Maintaining an active and growing network of professional and personal contacts is absolutely vital. This means both keeping valuable relationships active and developing new relationships. Attend professional events and seminars, go to your high school, college and grad school reunions, and take full advantage of social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.
  3. Freshen Your Education. This step is different than freshening your skills. Learning a new skill can often be accomplished on the job or through personal research, but freshening your education means obtaining credits, certificates and diplomas through accredited institutions. As opposed to focusing on a single skill area, freshening your education allows you to strengthen your knowledge in a whole field of expertise. As with skills, focus on educational areas that will give you knowledge and capabilities employers in your field of interest will find irresistible.


Tuesday Thought

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.



Don’t Forget that Presentation Counts!

After developing the substance of your personal brand and landing it, you need to nail, package and market it to your audience (employer, group, organization).

Answer these questions: Who am I? What do I want to be? How do I want to be perceived? Most of us don’t think of ourselves as “a package,” but all of us are packages (i.e., “she is so plain, don’t depend on him he will never deliver, he is just boring”). Here is the trick; you want to make sure that you control your packaging (the look, feel, and experience) and the message that illuminates from it.

Honestly, how many times have you bought something just because of the packaging, or paid more for something because it was presented in an exciting way? That’s the main reason we want to pay less for generic – the packaging is uniformly dull. When we see a package that shouts “Energy, Invigoration, Crispy, Clean, Colorful, Beautiful, Sophisticated, Expensive, “we are willing to pay more.

In essence, good packaging helps speed the purchasing decision and leads people to pay top dollars (and that’s what you want your packaging to do right?). Packaging is how you express your personality. So think about how you want to be perceived, what’ competitive edge you want your packaging to send.

Remember, the way you decide to package your unique brand should be evident in everything that you do and attach your name to, the way you walk, the way your talk, the way you dress, the content and appearance of your resume/cover letter, your award winning interview.

Also remember, the market can spot a phony a mile away! Your brand needs to reflect your core substance. Build your brand around your genuine strengths, not the ones you think the market wants to pay a lot of money for right now. You will always do better in the long run by being yourself, both in business and in life.

Here is a brief healthcare-related analogy to help illustrate exactly what “nailing the brand” means. Imagine you have been through the laborious and painstaking process of “getting in shape,” including efforts like watching your diet, regularly visiting the gym, scheduling appointments with a personal trainer, running every day, etc. Do you declare yourself 100% fit before checking your weight, cholesterol level, heart rate, body fat percentage, body mass index, and generally ensuring you have healthy appearance and demeanor?

Most fitness enthusiasts agree it would be foolish to skimp at the very end of a getting in shape process, since quitting when you may still have a few extra pounds to shed or are deficient in certain vitamins will set you up for years of subpar health to come. Your brand is like your physical shape; don’t slack off when you are almost done. Also remember that like your overall health and fitness, a brand needs constant maintenance and upkeep – “Nailing the brand” is really a continuing process!



Yes, the three second rule applies to you

How Healthy Is Your Vigor?

To stay fully invigorated at all times, you must constantly check up on yourself to make sure you are truly operating at peak levels of energy and enthusiasm. Following is a test to help determine whether your level of vigor is healthy, merely adequate or in need of a refill. Rate how strongly you agree that each of the following fresh statements applies to you today from 1-5, with 1 equaling strongly disagree and 5 equaling strongly agree:


1. I clearly understand what the professional standards are for my industry, company, business and organization.

2. My three-second impression is in alignment with how I want to be viewed.

3. My energy level and enthusiasm is high.

4. I am generally an invigorated person.

5. I know what makes me happy.

6. I frequently inject something fun into my day, week, month, and year.

6.5. I know how others view me within the first three seconds.


Now that you’ve taken the test, let’s analyze your score:

If you scored from 7 to 13, your vigor is anemic. You lack enthusiasm for building your brand or reaching your aspirations. Since achieving any type of success requires vigor, you probably frequently experience failure, which saps your energy even further, creating a vicious downward cycle. Break the cycle today! Go back and read this article again, and start implementing its advice. You won’t completely change overnight, but if you apply genuine passion and determination toward building your brand and realizing your aspirations, you will be surprised by how fast you start to see incremental improvements.

If you scored from 14 to 20, your vigor is low. As opposed to someone who is truly apathetic, you at least have goals for your brand and your aspirations in mind, but lack the vigor to pursue them in any real way. Your mindset may be a little healthier than that of your apathetic colleagues, but your results will not likely be much better. You should also give this article a second look and try to make some positive changes based on what you read.

If you scored from 21 to 26, your vigor is adequate. Beyond merely holding goals, you possess some genuine energy and gumption to meet them. But your commitment to achieving true success is still suspect. You are probably willing to take shortcuts and accept results that are “pretty good” or “not perfect but close.” You have what it takes to meet a portion of your personal and professional potential, but you’re leaving a lot of achievable success on the table.

If you scored from 27 to 33, your vigor is strong. You have a great deal of energy to dedicate to building your brand and realizing your aspirations, and also a lot of genuine passion to follow all the necessary steps and hold out for full results. But true success is still a long way off, and there are many chances to stumble and fall before you obtain it.

If you scored a 34 or 35, your vigor is all-encompassing. Every ounce of physical and mental energy at your disposal is committed to building your brand and achieving your aspirations, and you have enough energy to power a small city. You match that energy with boundless passion that allows you to focus with laser intensity on everything you need to do to maximize your full potential. Everyone around you senses your vigor, and it is contagious.